Thursday, May 30, 2019

Poetry Friday: Walls

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week's round up is hosted by A Year of Reading blog. Please click over to read all of this week's poetry goodness.

Laura Purdie Salas hosts a 15 Words or Less Poetry Challenge each Thursday. Laura posts a photo and asks participants to write a poem- 15 words or less- inspired by what they see. It's meant to be a little poetry warm-up for the day. Yesterday's poem was a mural of Prince. I was inpsired by his eyes and by the brick wall. It made me think about the young person from my small town who took his own life a few weeks ago. He was the third young person to take his life in the last 2 1/2 years in our tiny little town. The sign you see on your way into our town says, "The Little Town With The Big Heart." But right now, we're the little town with the big broken heart. My heart aches for  the pain this young man felt and for the pain his family and friends are left with. I went over the 15 word limit, but here's my poem.

by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

You build your wall,
brick by brick.
Shutting me out.
I know you're sick.

You think I can't see.
You think I don't know.
You think I don't care.
You think I'll let go.

Don't look away.
Look in my eyes.
They see your pain.
Your silent cries.

Take down your wall,
brick by brick.
Let me in.
I know you're sick.

Let me help.
Let me stay.
Let me hold
your hand today.

Copyright 2019

If you know of someone who is in crisis, please share the following information with them and/or their family and friends.

Text HOME to 741741
24 hours a day 7 days a week
for crisis support in the U.S.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Poetry Friday: A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks

Welcome, once again, to Poetry Friday! This week's round up host is Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche blog. Be sure to click over to read all of this week's poetry goodness.

Michelle at 
Today's Little Ditty blog spent National Poetry Month interviewing a plethora of talented poets. At the end of the month, Michelle randomly chose winners to receive copies of books written by her featured guests. One of those featured was Alice Faye Duncan. Because I'm an Illinois native and grew up enjoying Gwendolyn Brook's poetry at school, I was especially excited to learn that I had won a digital copy of Faye Duncan's A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks.

Although I had read plenty of Brook's work, I really didn't know too much about her early life. A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks takes readers back to her early days growing up on Chicago's south side, a beloved daughter to parents who nurtured and encouraged her love for writing poetry. Brooks was often allowed to skip chores to work on her craft, and when one of her teachers doubted that she had written something sumitted for an assignment, Brook's mother marched to the school and proclaimed her daughter's innocence and talent. The poem I'm sharing this week is one that Gwendolyn wrote in response to this experience:

If others neglect you,
Forget; do not sigh,
For, after all, they'll select you
In times by and by.
If their taunts cut and hurt you,
They are sure to regret.
And if in time, they desert you,
Forgive and forget.

As the book moves forward chronologically, we see Gwendolyn grow in confidence. We see her study and learn from other great poets of the time. We see her talent explode and flourish and watch her collect the first ever Pulitzer Prize given to a black American.

This lyrical biography is a lovely mix of Faye Duncan's bluesy rhythm with Brook's own poetic voice dotted throughout. This book is an insightful introduction to one of the world's greatest poets, and it should be on the shelf in every elementary school library.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Poetry Friday: Instructions To Wind

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week's round up is hosted by Elizabeth Steinglass. Be sure to click over to enjoy all of this week's poetry goodness.

I spent the first seven days of May participating in NaPiBoWriWee- National Picture Book Writing Week, and I promised an update on how I did. I was able to get 5 first drafts completed. I didn't make it to seven, but I accomplished way more in a week than I usually do. Now it's time to start revising :)

Now, for another challenge. Michelle at Today's Little Ditty blog is back with monthly challenges to get our creative juices flowing. This month, Michelle invited Elizabeth Steinglass to lead the way. Elizabeth challenged us to write a poem that gives instructions to an inanimate object on how to do its job. Here is my addition:

Instructions To Wind
by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Blow so lightly, a gentle breeze.
Rustle leaves hanging from trees.
Whip and gust. Dry up mud.
Evaporate puddles from the flood.
Play a tune on front porch chimes-
A lullabye for summer times.
Carry kites across the sky.
Help the birds to soar and fly.
Fan the flames for our weiner roast.
Build surf waves along the coast.
Whirl and swirl! Move that air!
Just please try not to muss my hair!

Copyright 2019 Kimberly M. Hutmacher

If you would like to join in on this challenge, you have the rest of May to add your instruction poem to Michelle's padlet.

Last but not least, look for a new vlog post on seeds coming this week from S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Poetry Friday: Planting Flowers

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week's round up is hosted by Jama's Alphabet Soup blog. Be sure to click over to enjoy all of this week's poetry goodness.

Now that National Poetry Month is over, I find myslf knee-deep in NaPiBoWriWee- otherwise known as National Picture Book Writing Week. I'm attempting to write first drafts of seven picture books in seven days. So far, I'm on track, but yes, there is definitely a reason it is referred to as a challenge :) 

Since I'm working on picture books, I'm going to cheat a bit here, and share a poem from the archives. I planted some flowers this week, and this oldy but goody came to mind.

Ode to Sunflowers
by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Sunflowers, O' Sunflowers,
Reaching for the skies
Glaring at the clouds above
with your chocolate eyes.

Golden faces nodding
as gray gives way to blue
Happy stems a dancing
as the sun shines anew!

Copyright 2016 Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Just to wrap up National Poetry Month, you can see our completed 2019 Progressive Poem here. Thank you, Irene Latham, for once again, leading the way.

My thanks also to Michelle at Today's Little Ditty. Michelle spent the month of April sharing beautiful books of poetry and interviews with their creators. Each day, featured a giveaway. I learned today that I won a digital copy of Alice Faye Duncan's A Song For Gwendolyn Brooks. I'm so excited to read this book and share more about it here.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out my new venture with Heidi Bee Roemer- S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry. We hope you'll help us spread the word. We plan to add two new videos along with theme related book suggestions and activities twice a month. We hope to build this site into a valuable resource for educators.

Last but not least, if you're a subscriber to Children's Book Insider, I have an article in this month's issue about finding your perfect writing mentor(s). Be sure to check it out.